High school. So many different words are used to describe it. Words like divided, exclusive, cruel, and unforgiving are only a few of the ones I’ve heard. But the word that stands out above all others to me is opportunistic. My school is chock-full of opportunity to share the gospel.
When I think about getting on stage in the auditorium and telling my entire school about Jesus; the faculty, the students, the custodians, I get tingles. I grin from ear to ear at the thought of all the potential hearts God could change using me. This thought is a fantastic one.
However, My desire to spread the good news is far too often outweighed by my fear of what others will think.
When Paul tried to preach the gospel, he was thrown in jail. He became separated from his loved ones and said goodbye to everything he ever knew. I know I probably won’t be thrown into a literal jail cell for telling people at my school about God, but I could let myself become locked up in their words. The thought of the dirty looks that will be tossed my way and the cruel words that will be hurled in my direction are enough to lock the gospel truth inside of me.
But here’s what else I know: when Paul was in that jail cell, he continued to praise God, no matter who heard him. He was chained to guards for six hours at a time, and every six hours for the duration of the next six hours, those guards heard all about Jesus. He had been yanked away from everything, but because he held on to God, everything was nothing. Telling everyone about God, even the prison guards, became his everything.
God is showing me that no one can keep me in a jail cell unless I let them.
As a child of God, I will not stay in that jail cell. I refuse to be silent about the great works the Lord has done in my life. I will tell the gospel truth I know, I will tell the gospel truth I know, that Jesus Christ has died and rose again so that we sinners might live!
I have not been locked away. I will not go into that jail cell simply because of what others will say. Something like cruel words are light and momentary afflictions in comparison to the glory of my savior. God has placed me in high school for a reason. I am not here to uphold my reputation, but to make His known.
In my favorite Casting Crowns song Does Anybody Hear Her? Mark Hall sings about the lost and lonely people searching for the hope that is tucked away in you and me. How cool is it that God has put His undying hope in us? And we get to share it with everyone?!
I know God has not put this hope in me so I could keep it to myself. No, I am to go to all the world and proclaim the Good News to everyone everywhere (Mark 16:15)! Everywhere means everywhere, even the places I would never dare to go.
This purpose God has given me to share the gospel is far from limited to my high school. I am to share God to the people in my workplace, the neighbors in my community, the worker at McDonald’s who gives me my fries in the drive thru! God has not placed me in a jail cell; God has given me the hope and strength to break out of any that I am put in, and in turn, break out others as well. I will not let my fear get in the way of such a divine destiny.
God promises me that when I pass through the waters, He will be with me; and when I pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over me. When I walk through the fire, I will not be burned; the flames will not set me ablaze (Isaiah 43:2).
When others toss waves of hatred on me, I will be set ablaze by the fire that God has put in my soul.
After all, I wasn’t given the spirit of fear and timidity, I was given the spirit of power, love, and discipline (2 Timothy 1:7). Because I am able, I will love. God-willing, yes, I will love. I will step out of this jail cell society has placed me in. I will break out, and tell others all about the key.
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